“I thought it would be kind of exciting to work on something that would probably be admired by everyone,” he said. The volunteer rush picks up dramatically in the final week before the parade, when organizers add flowers without having to worry as much about the petals withering. When all the work is done, the Glendale Rose Float Association expects to have received help from 400 to 700 volunteers. The Burbank Tournament of Roses Association expects a similar volunteer count. For Burbank, creating a float without professional help requires a crew of volunteer welders. Some are getting older and don’t plan to return next year, said Reeves, who does welding on the side. “I’m actually a little worried about next year,” he said. The Burbank Tournament of Roses Association received about $62,000 in assistance from the city to make the float and had to raise more money to round out its $100,000 budget, Reeves said. The Glendale Rose Float Association got about half its $90,000 budget covered by the city, Sokoloff said. Alex Dobuzinskis, (818) 546-3304 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake “I grew up in Michigan and I would sit there in the freezing cold and marvel at the weather in Southern California, looking at all the amazing flowers, not knowing that most of those flowers came from South America,” said Reeves, 48, who chairs the Burbank Tournament of Roses Association’s construction committee in addition to working for the Internet Movie Database. Each year, Burbank prepares its float without any professional help. Glendale and other parade participants use private companies. But even though float-maker Phoenix Decorating is making the structure for Glendale, the float is still decorated by hundreds of volunteers. “Our prime concern is to get a float down Colorado Boulevard that makes the city of Glendale (look) outstanding,” said Jim Sokoloff, 58, board member with the Glendale Rose Float Association. The theme of this year’s 117th annual parade is “It’s Magical.” Burbank’s entry features a parade of three elephants, with the leading animal crashing into a stand on wheels to get at some peanuts. Glendale’s float will feature a cartoonish train with real people aboard. Most of the volunteers working on the Glendale float are high school students. Raymond Quinto, 16, of Crescenta Valley High started working on the city’s floats two years ago. If there’s one person who understands what went into the city of Burbank’s entry in this year’s Rose Parade, it’s Jon Reeves. By the time the float, complete with a crashing elephant that has a hankering for some peanuts, eases its way down Colorado Boulevard on Jan. 2, Reeves will have volunteered close to 500 hours helping put the project together. Miles away from the Burbank Water and Power facility that Reeves and other volunteers call The Barn, Glendale’s offering for the parade is taking shape inside a Pasadena warehouse. Although their floats will feature different themes, both Glendale and Burbank will use plenty of volunteer muscle to bring them to life. Like the rest of America, many of the volunteers were first introduced to the Rose Parade through their TV screens.